Friday, December 30, 2011


I had a great visit with FL mom. We dropped her off at the airport this morning. We kept her busy while she was here by taking her to our favorite eats. She and I got a pedicure, took her on a coke date at a campus favorite for fountain drinks, (I got a cherry limeade with Skittles. MY favorite.) and last night we all went to see the new Sherlock Holmes movie. It was alright. I liked the 2nd half a lot but the 1st half seemed to drag. No?

Did I tell you Cooper got a new bone for Christmas? He devoured it quickly. Seriously. We gave it to him before we went to see a movie and when we came home it was gone. Crazy kid.

And since I'm catching you up, you must know that my 3rd attempt at making the caramel cake was a HUGE success:

Lee and I have chosen to be lazy the rest of the day and then tomorrow we will pack him up. He's leaving for his training on the 1st. And that's all I have to say about that...for right now.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

this & that

I hope everyone had a holly jolly Christmas! We sure did! We zipped and zoomed down and then up our great state. Here's what Lee spoiled me with this year:
THESE slippers.
THIS wallet.
THOSE books.
My FL mama is flying into see us tomorrow and we couldn't be more thrilled. We pick her up at the airport around noon and return her on the 30th. Then I'll be packing Lee up. He leaves for his training on the 1st...I'll be keeping it short and sweet (no promises on the sweet) online until then.

Friday, December 23, 2011

present stash on wheels

Let the holidays begin!
Lee, Cooper and I will look a bit like this for the next couple of days and I'm silly excited about it:

May you ALL have a very special Christmas and make the MERRIEST of memories with the ones you love.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Clark Griswold Like

Here's some inspiration for the next time we put lights on our house:

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

mirror, mirror on the wall

I've been eyeballing THIS round shell mirror at Pier 1 for quite sometime now and it has not gone on sale. Must.Find.Coupon. It would look like dynamite above a chest in our bedroom. I had thought about getting a beveled floor mirror from Ballard but it's no longer in stock so I'm going back to this baby:

I found it in a couple spaces online:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

stage one

Here's to helping another military wife know she's not alone.

Lee is leaving soon and only for training. He won’t be in harm’s way for several more months but I feel like our deployment is starting early. Why must I make myself feel like I’m being faced with a 20 month deployment instead of 12? However, today IS a good day.

I’ve done some research and I’m at Stage 1.

The 7 Stages of the Emotional Cycle of Deployment
Despite the many who claim otherwise, the military spouse leads a different life from most. This harsh truth becomes most evident when your family prepares for a deployment. A deployment is a scary, emotional, yet liberating journey for the spouse left behind to take care of a home and finances.

There are seven identifiable stages that the majority of military spouses go through.

Pre-Deployment: Anticipation of Loss (Stage 1)
You are moody and depressed, and this causes friction between you and your spouse. You are a tight little ball of stress and anxiety, and hate yourself for feeling this way. You and your spouse are at each other's throats even when you know in your heart you should be cherishing each day left together.

This is so true. A tall glass of water about to overflow. Crying on the drop of the hat and it taking 10 years to fall asleep most nights because wild thoughts swim your brain. Work is routine and kept completely separate from personal struggles. "Show time." The holiday brings welcomed smiles and laughter from visits with family and friends but sometimes you feel like you have to mustard all the energy you have to simply get groceries. You bicker with your spouse about the dumbest of dumb things and then regret wasting cherished time by your silliness later. When things are good, they are really good but it can be a constant struggle to not withdraw from the person you love most at this time and keep your head held up high.

Monday, December 19, 2011

weekend deets

On Saturday, Lee and I jumped up to drive South near my hometown to see an old family friend's daughter get married. It was an incredibly sweet and simple country wedding. The love was so wildly evident between the two.

That evening we celebrated Taylor's birthday at a steak place on the lake and then headed to a local comedy club. We had a hoot and holler'n good time!

Hey! I finally finished my Christmas shopping. I'm incredibly excited about my little cousin's gift. After helping with Project Elf, I know what her age group likes and I got one:

I usually have my Christmas shopping all knocked out weeks before the holiday but not this year. I did manage to pawn a few gifts on Lee to pick out so hopefully he gets that done this week since he has so much downtime. He's using some personal time this week to get an extra long break before the madness of the holiday. Can you believe the time has come? I can't believe he's leaving so soon after the New Year for training. He worked his last "civilian" day this past Friday and won't return to his civilian job until his deployment concludes and even then it will be after he's finished his leave time from being deployed. How am I doing? I.Shop.
I found some boots. Remember I bought THESE and then returned them because they weren't a good fit? I bought these suede babies yesterday:

I am wearing them today with the flap up to make them even more tall. Good price, TOO! I may get them in different color in leather next time. I still want a great pair of riding type boots but haven't quite found the right pair yet.
Cheers to a 4 day work week!

Friday, December 16, 2011

carpet & color

Have you noticed all the antelope?! Personally, I think it looks more like Bambi but whatevs I love it.
via Cote de Texas

via McMillian and Co. Interiors

via Conspicuous Style Blog

And now my favorite antelope placement of them all:
via Eddie Ross

And before I get to the weekend, let's talk about THIS room:

You know I always love a good chandy and isn't that over sized ottoman and tufting A-maze balls? AND those curtains...I feel kinda bad for loving orange so much since my alma mater's rival screams this color but I do have splashes of it in our house nonetheless. However, I find this crush fitting since PANTONE recently announced the 2012 color of the year is Tangerine Tango:

Looks an awful lot like my board I created for our future great room when we build the doll house:

Thursday, December 15, 2011


I felt like I ripped one of my vendor's a new one today.  I don't like it but someone had to do it, I reckon? We are now 4 months past our contracted deadline and the current status of the project isn't at all what my team anticipated. I had provided a 3 page outline, a visual, and 3 references. Sheesh. I was this close to cutting my losses and going elsewhere but the Christmas in me prevailed. I'm following up with him again next week to see what takeaways are reflected in his work by then. Fingers crossed for his sake.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

real tall elf

I mentioned heading up Project Elf again this year, HERE! Yesterday I fulfilled all the Dear Santa lists that were unaccounted for by our employees. Unfortunately, times are tough and not as many lists were picked up this year. Still, we had a great turnout and I'm thankful for that. I took my company card and finished the lists off by shopping till I dropped. As frustrating as my work can be, my company is incredibly giving. I went to 3 WalMart stores and 1 of them twice, Target twice, Toys R' Us, and the mall to fulfill all the little tike's wishes.
One of many of the carts I unloaded:

Last night, I worked my elf hands overtime stuffing and labeling each bag with the appropriate name late into the night. Thank goodness dad was in town to let me use his truck. Lee and him both helped me load and deliver all the bags, bikes, and portable basketball goals this morning to Santa HQ.
Next week Santa is having an open house viewing. This event allows all volunteers and donors to see their elf work. They have a huge warehouse and all the toys are organized by control number before the foster families arrive to pick up their child's fulfilled Santa List. Neat, huh?

Monday, December 12, 2011

Friendamily Christmas Dinner

sneaky santa

Dear Lee Santa,

I would like some new SLIPPERS See image below to reference:
If you bring them to my house on Christmas Eve, these might be waiting for you:
P.S...bring my MIL one of these scarves. TeeHee!


Friday, December 9, 2011

Fancy Dinner w/ Friends

*Friendamily: Family but not by blood. Friends so close to you that you can't imagine your family without including them too.

We're having our friendamily over for our (newly established) Annual Friendamily Christmas Dinner tonight in lieu of exchanging gifts. AND we're going all out! Just checkout this menu:
Hors oeuvre: Pecan crusted cheese ball gingerbread man and crisp wafers

Starters: Deviled eggs and warm rolls w/ cranberry relish compote

Main: Succulent USDA Prime Rib with creamy horseradish and fresh jus drippings alongside whipped mashed potatoes, southern cornbread dressing, a creamy broccoli rice casserole, and a sweet corn hash

To End: Crème Brule with fresh berries

*Spirits: Pinot Grigio, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah, Southern Iced Tea, (insert name of town) finest water

I know I showed you a PEEK at how I was playing with the table setting but I decided to remove the table cloth. I wasn't crazy about the colors. We have a square 8 seater table and I have discovered that setting a square table is tricky tricky.

Even the little guy (Nick & Kristie's son, Kaden) in our lives has a special place at the table:

I'll take a pic of the whole table tonight when the feast is set.  Here's the gingerbread man after he was born and before he was covered and stuck in the fridge:
Cheese ball Recipe:
(2) 8oz cream cheese
1 pkt of Hidden Valley Ranch mix
1 1/2 cup of shredded sharp cheddar
1 1/2 cup of shredded mild cheddar
1 1/2 cup of chopped pecans
*mix and mold to your liking and sprinkle more chopped pecans on top of desired shape

Thursday, December 8, 2011


In the back of my head I was thinking, "How cool would it be if..."
As we drove near campus to find the house hosting this year's holiday party for my sorority's alum chapter last night, I squealed when I realized we were in fact going inside the house I always admired throughout college during the holidays. The Present House never disappointed and always adorned a big red bow at Christmas time. This house is a holiday campus legend to me. Pumped to learn the home owner is a "sister" and trying not to pee my pants from the excitement, Lee and I were warmly welcomed inside and given a home tour. I thoroughly enjoyed the tour and we both had a GREAT time meeting so many new faces.

Highlighted Favorites from The Present House:
The O' so cozy screened in porch off the master bedroom
Snow and those cute holiday homes all lit up on top of the grand piano in the sitting room
Extra-large black and white custom upholstered gingham sectional in the family room
Original black and white tile in the upstairs bathroom (same used in a popular bldg on campus)
Black frames w/ white mats lining the entire staircase from past family trips to the beach
Art. So much art with display lights!

*I learned that several bows have been bought over the years due to Winter storms. The ribbon appears super shiny almost like patent leather up close. Bought in large spools, it is then fashioned together in the shape of a bow by use of chicken wire and stapled to the house for perfection!

dancing sugarplums

Cooper likes to cuddle with his Santa Mickey while visions of sugar plums dance in his head.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


I forwarded a link to Lee and let him know I was thinking about it for my Christmas gift. Low and behold the sweet man ordered it for me and it showed up on our doorstep last week. Excited and a bit embarrassed that I discovered my treasure while Lee wasn't even home to protect it, I tore open the box and pretended it was Christmas morning. (It's really hard to keep a surprise from me.) I loved the touch, the look and especially the gold hardware...but the adjustable strap didn't adjust long enough for my tall torso self and the bag was a bit too big for what I was wanting. I know I could have taken it somewhere to add some length to the strap by use of chain, etc but I ultimately decided that I'd rather have the bag ready to wear for that price and the size didn't have me head over heels. I think this bag is ideal for a professional photographer or traveler that always takes a camera and ipad. What bag: THIS bag in camel has been returned:

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


I made some steak quesadillas for us last night. Onion, bell pepper, steak and cheese fiesta in your tummy. This is Lee's plate of food, he's a growing boy:


After Lee's holiday lunch with his unit, we scaddaddled over to see our friends' new babe. Nate and Morgan live close to where Lee drills so we were excited to meet their sweet Margaret Ann (named after her grandmother but answers to Maggie) for the first time! I got to hold the doll, watch Maggie fall asleep after taking a bottle and smell her stinky diaper. It was extra special to see the dynamic between my dear college friend and her daughter. Their goldendoodle, Norman was a ham for new guests too. I swear he thinks he's human. I didn't think to take a pic while we were there because I was too busy soaking up time with my friend and loving on their Maggie. I stole this pic from her FB:

Monday, December 5, 2011

caramel cake: epic fail

The CAKE I meant to take to Lee's Army holiday luncheon was a disaster. Taylor and I determined that my impatient self didn't wait long enough for the cakes to cool before trying to layer them on top of one another.

I didn't want to take an ugly cake so I had Lee pick up 3 dozen chocolate chip cookies from Braums when his chocolate shake craving hit. I placed those suckers ever so neatly on a candy cane shaped platter and called them mine. As for the ugly cake, Lee insisted I not throw it away so he could eat it because ugly still tastes good.

gift tags (free)

The ever so fabulous Brooklyn Limestone strikes again. I swear she always has fantastic holiday ideas and the cutest of cute printables.

I took 2 old (and free) file folders, cut them in 1/2 and then cut them to size a reg 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper to reflect Brooklyn Limestone's free printable. Go on and get it HERE, y'all!

I gifted a couple outfits for our extra small niece by pairing skinny black cords with a couple of tops from Old Navy. I really think the skinnies will be perfect for her since she wears a 6 slim normally. Fingers crossed!
The thermal has a bit of glitter in the fabric and rhinestone buttons that I know my niece will love.Yes, that is a whoopi cushion:) I think the hot pink watch with a rhinestone face will be a hit too. It's a slap bracelet! Remember those?!
Also, don't you think that heartlike sweater looks a lot like this sweater I saw at Jcrew:

Friday, December 2, 2011

done did it

I have really loved this image from Christine Lane Interiors for quite some time now so I up and done it. I located a JPEG of the equestrian image above and went to Easy Canvas Print to order a 24x36 canvas print. Free Shipping too! It won't be quite as big as the image displayed in this room but I think it will look great above a guest room bed that hosts this Cat Studio pillow:

Update: Ha! I received an email that the the horse image wasn't a high enough resolution for the print size I wanted. I had to cancel my order. O poot.